Monday, 25 July 2011

Character Spotlight ~ MaryLu Tyndall's Cassandra Channing and Luke Heaton

 Cassandra & Luke

MaryLu Tyndall returns with her final Surrender to Destiny story, Surrender the Dawn, the story of rebel and privateer, Luke Heaton and the independent and fiery Cassandra Channing.

Over to you, MaryLu:~

Cassandra Channing

Brief Description

Though Cassandra stands barely over five feet, she more than makes up for her petite frame by her fiery, independent spirit. Her flashing emerald eyes and red hair only hint at the temper and rebellion simmering within. A rebellion that began in her childhood when, unhappy in their marriage, her parents allowed Cassandra to run wild. Now, with her father long dead and her brothers off fighting in the war, Cassandra is left to support a self-centered, irritable mother, two younger sisters who are following in her rebellious footsteps, a bevy of servants, and a lovable, clumsy dog. Feeling abandoned by her father and brothers, Cassandra blames God and decides that He, too, has left her to her own devices. But Cassandra is a fighter. She is loyal to family and country and refuses to see her loved ones tossed on the street. Against all protocol, and desperate to save her family, she hires the only privateer willing to partner with a woman, the town rogue, Luke Heaton, a gambler, drinker, and womanizer.


Independent, smart, capable, fighter, loyal, kind


Quick-tempered, impatient, rash, stubborn, rebellious


You’ll often hear the phrase, “Oh, bother” from Cassandra when she hears bad news. Also, she taps her shoe on the ground when she is frustrated or annoyed.


I love Cassandra. She possesses the kind of courage and tenacity I wish I had. When she makes up her mind to do something, nothing stands in her way! Although this can be a great quality, lurking beneath it are the shadows of rebellion and unbelief. You see, God doesn’t want us to have to go it alone. He doesn’t want us to forge ahead without Him, determined to make our own way. When things get tough, He longs for us to turn to Him, seek Him, ask Him what to do, and then trust Him. I’ve met countless people who, when tragedy strikes, decide God has either left them or He isn’t real at all. In reality, we live in a fallen world. People make choices that hurt other people. God does not intervene in man’s will. Therefore, bad things happen. And people get hurt and die. There’s so much behind the curtain of this physical world that we cannot see. That’s why God asks us to trust Him. When we do, He can turn bad things out for our good. When we don’t, well.... you’ll see the trouble Cassandra causes for herself!

Luke Heaton

Brief Description

At 26, with black hair, blue eyes, a tall, muscular frame, and a grin that can melt any woman’s heart, Luke Heaton is the quintessential ruggedly handsome town rogue. His reputation as a drinker, gambler, womanizer and all around loser is well known among the citizens of Baltimore. But Luke has hit an all-time low. Recently, his best friend and captain, Noah Brenin, fired him as first mate from his privateer for being drunk on duty. Now, feeling more like a failure and with no way to make money to feed his gambling habit, Luke spends his time in a hopeless effort to fix a broken-down ship he won in a card game. His dream is to become a privateer like Noah, to redeem his bad reputation, and be a better role-model for his crippled brother. A brother he keeps a secret even from his closest friends. A brother Luke has raised since he was a babe and a savage fire claimed the lives of his missionary parents. Unable to rescue them from the fire, Luke carries around enormous guilt, which only feeds his insecurities and traps him in a cycle of mediocrity. Without the money to fix up his ship, Luke believes he will never break from that trap. That is, until Cassandra Channing walks into his life.


Courageous, Spontaneous, Intelligent, Charming, Loyal to family, Kindhearted


Immoral, Rash, Insecure, Hot-tempered, Fighter


I simply adore the wounded bad-boy hero. And Luke is the perfect example. Nothing has gone right for him since his parents died at the hand of the Indians they ministered to. Though Luke tried to save them, he blames his own cowardice for not dashing into the burning house and dragging them out. Honoring a promise to his mother, Luke has cared for his younger brother John since he was one. A task made all the more difficult due to John’s disease, Rickets, which has crippled the lad. Angry and disgusted with himself, Luke drowns his pain both in the bottle and in the arms of any woman who’ll have him. Though he doesn’t blame God, Luke no longer believes He exists. Luke is a character beaten up by life. Bad things have happened to him and he’s rejected the only One who can help him, missing the path God laid out for him. In Luke’s life, I wanted to show how unbelief coupled with a wounded heart can cause you to miss God’s perfect will for your life and lead you down a path of more pain and heartache.

Background for the story

Spring-Summer 1814, the British navy has blockaded the Chesapeake Bay, literally imprisoning Baltimore in its harbor. Regardless, the brave citizens still managed to send out more privateers than any other coastal city, granting them the name “Nest of Pirates” by their enemies. Baltimore privateers harassed British shipping, crippling their supply chain and stealing their ships. Many citizens became wealthy in the process. Yet eventually, this caused the British to set their sights on attacking Baltimore, taking over the city, and setting up their headquarters there. In the fall of 1814, spurred on by their defeat of the American Capital, the British fleet moved into position and readied itself to pummel Fort McHenry with more bombs than any fort should be able to withstand.

When the war of 1812 robs Cassandra Channing of her father and brothers, she must find a way to support her mother and younger siblings without being forced to marry a man she does not love. Determined to remain independent, she hires a privateer, captained by the town rogue.

Tortured by guilt for his parents’ death, Luke Heaton spends his time drinking and gambling. When Cassandra offers him enough money to fix up his ship, he sees an opportunity to redeem his reputation and help the lady he has loved from afar. Things go well until the British blackmail him into selling supplies to their ships. Still Luke cannot allow Cassandra’s family to be tossed on the streets.

Cassandra has fallen in love with Luke. When she begins to suspect his nefarious activities, she is heartbroken. Hoping to prove her suspicions wrong, she sets out to catch him in the act. But what she doesn’t expect is to get caught up in a massive British invasion.

When the entire British fleet heads toward Baltimore and begins to bombard Fort McHenry, lives, liberty, and the future of a nation are at stake. What destiny awaits the couple in one of the most decisive battles of the war?

Thanks so much for the detailed spotlight, MaryLu ~ so looking forward to Luke's story!

Relz Reviewz Extras
Reviews of The Red Siren and The Blue Enchantress 
Character spotlights for The Raven Saint, The Red Siren and The Blue Enchantress 
Visit MaryLu's website and blog 
Buy MaryLu's books at Amazon or Koorong


Ronie Kendig said...

Hubba Bubba! Karl Urban looks great!! :-D MaryLu's stories are amazing. Love her!

MaryLu Tyndall said...

Thanks Rel for posting about my characters!! Yes, Luke Heaton (Karl Urban) Be still my heart! He's the perfect Luke! Waving at Ronie!! Love you ladies!

Julie Lessman said...

Okay, I'm trembling right now because I have MaryLu's Surrender the Dawn sitting on my TBR list and I can't read it yet -- Agh!!!! have several books I'm committed to read first, so I should have NEVER checked this spotlight out 'cause it's killing me!!

ML ... Looks soooo good, and I've been dying to read Luke's story since Surrender the Heart, and God knows I LOVE bad boys turned good ... :)

Thanks for the great spotlight, Rel ... and the pain! :)


Rel said...

Love it when such wonderful gals drop by my blog :)

Glad you all have a thing for "Luke"!!

Julie ~ I owe you an email! It is coming soon but when I have time to respond in detail.

Love and hugs to you all

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